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Animal Behaviorist or Animal Communicator?

  • Animal Behaviorist

    Votes: 9 90.0%
  • Animal Communicator

    Votes: 1 10.0%
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My friend (some have seen my posts in the behavior section) is growing increasingly frustrated with her cat situation. There has been no improvements in the behavior of her resident cat and she has done everything by the book when it comes to introducing cats, but nothing helps. She has decided to get either an animal communicator or an animal behaviorist to give her some insight on her situation. There is pros and cons for each (will the behaviorist charge hundreds to tell her what she might already know or will the communicator charge hundreds to be absolutely full of crap) so in helping her decide I told her I would ask some friends. Which would you go for?
 

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Fully support behaviourists. I've not seen anything of animal communicators to convince me that they aren't full of crap.
 

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I think it depends on the reputation of the person!

There's an animal communicator in the next county from us who is amazing, I have seen her at work with pet rabbits at an expo, and on her website - I would call her in an instant if we ever needed any help.

If there's no one in your friend's area who has that kind of endorsement, well, then I think a good behaviorist is a great idea. She should just make sure that she tells the person she hires as much as possible about what has been tried etc., so there's less chance that she'll be given advice which she 'already knows'. That would be a very frustrating outcome, I agree.

Fran
 

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A behaviorist should have some basis in science. But then again, check the credentials. Any one can call them selves a behaviorist.We all are behaviorists by just being here.

A communicator is a person who feels they have a gift to talk to ...whatever. For better or worse. Yikes.
 

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I had a very difficult time trying to introduce Muffs and Abby, and I hired an animal behaviorist to help. The girls are now best friends, and I don't think I would have gotten to that point without the help of the behaviorist.

I would strongly recommend a behaviorist, although the trick is getting the right behaviorist. As already suggested, before hiring anybody, she should check their credentials. She should also ensure the person has experience in dealing with cats (many behaviorists have only dealt with dogs) AND find out whether the person is experienced in dealing with problems relating to difficult introductions (as opposed to litter box issues, etc.). She should also ask for references from past clients.

As for costs...I can tell you the typical costs here (Canada), which are similar to costs in the U.S. (I know two people in the U.S. who have either used or looked into using a behaviorist and the costs were similar). The norm is about $300-$350. That includes a home visit to take a history of the cats and their behavior and to observe the cats. The home visit is followed by a written behavior modification plan (i.e., detailed instructions as to what to do and how), along with two months of follow-up emails or telephone consultations where you can ask questions, raise concerns if something isn't working, etc. In the first week, I emailed my behaviorist daily because I had a ton of questions (and he responded every day), although after the first week, I only emailed once a week or so.

To find a good behaviorist, in addition to doing web research, your friend should speak with her vet, and speak with various shelters or humane societies in the area (they often know of reputable behaviorists).
 
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